One year into its tenure, the popular wind is still very much with Narendra Modi. His government continues to enjoy fairly high approval ratings in India’s largest cities, although it’s not as high as it was five months back.
In a TOI-Ipsos poll, less than one in five respondents said the government’s performance has been “very good”, compared to more than one-fourth in a similar poll done in December-end. Those saying that the government has done a “somewhat good” job, however, continue to be just under half the total.
The latest poll also reveals that a majority feel initial expectations from the government were unrealistically high, an indication perhaps that the hype of “achhe din” is giving way to a more sober assessment of what to expect from the Modi sarkar.
The other interesting finding of the survey is that the Swachh Bharat campaign is by far the most popular initiative taken by the Modi government in its first year in office, with the Jan Dhan financial inclusion scheme and ‘Make in India’ distant seconds.
As for his biggest blunder, opinion is divided, but the PM’s inability to rein in loose-talking ministers gets the biggest thumbs-down, followed by the controversy over the land acquisition bill and the monogrammed suit Modi wore during US president Barack Obama’s visit to India in January.
The drop in the rating of the government’s overall performance is most pronounced in socio-economic category (SEC) B2, the lowest of the ones covered by the survey. In this category, the proportion of those saying the government has done a good or very good job is down from 74% in end-December to 61% now. A similar trend is visible in this segment’s ratings for the government’s performance on development and job creation, arguably a sign that those lower down the economic ladder are feeling more disappointed, perhaps because they expected more from Modi.
It is also telling that of the various metrics on which TOI asked people to rate the government’s performance, job creation was the one that received the lowest marks: on this count, only 17% said it had done a very good job and 30% felt it had done a somewhat good job.
The purposive survey was conducted face to face by Ipsos, a leading research agency, in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Pune and Ahmedabad. It polled over 1,300 people divided evenly between men and women. SEC A1, A2, B1 and B2 were equally represented in the sample, as were the age groups 18-29, 30-45 and those above 45 years.